|Classic Review: Mayhem - Live in Leipzig|
|Live in Leipzig|
Label: Obscure Plasma Records
Year released: 1993
Genre: Black Metal
Review online: August 2, 2006
Reviewed by: Sargon the Terrible
for:Live in Leipzig
Rated 4.16/5 (83.27%) (49 Votes)
If anybody ever asks me to encapsulate Black Metal with one disc, it will have to be this one. Say what you will about Burzum or Bathory or whatever, this album is just fucking incredible. Live In Leipzig is bar none the best fucking Mayhem disc, and one of the best slabs of true raw, evil Black metal ever laid down. Recorded at a club gig in 1990 with the 'classic' lineup of Dead, Euronymous, Necrobutcher and Hellhammer, this slab of evil was not released until '93, long after vocalist Dead had killed himself. Likely this was only cooked up to get people excited about the soon to be released De Mysteriis Dom Sathanas, but I don't care, it rules.
Never again would the classic lineup play together on disc, and never again would Mayhem sound as furious as they do here. The energy level from the band on this recording is incredible, as they blaze savagely through some of their classic material, from Deathcrush tunes like "Necrolust" and the joyous "Pure Fucking Armageddon", to songs which would later end up on the debut album, such as the classic "Freezing Moon", and "Pagan Fears". But I tell you, the band is so amped up here it isn't even funny. Listen to the slower album version of "Funeral Fog" off Mysteriis, and then listen to the live version that transforms it into a blistering, savage killing machine. And I swear, the riffs on "Freezing Moon" didn't sound even half as awesome in the studio as they do here.
And Dead, holy shit man. To a lot of Mayhem 'fans' Dead is just a name – 'that guy who killed himself' – but his performance here is unbelievable. His raw, murderous voice rages over everything else. Sometimes people mention that the crowd seems kind of restrained on this disc, but I think they were just too fucking intimidated to make noise. The guy doesn't even sound human for fuck's sake. When he bellows out 'Puuuuure Fuckiiiingg ARMAGEDDON!!!' his voice is a howl of pure torment.
The recording here is famously raw and rough, but that just adds the finishing touch that makes this a perfect Black Metal album. Through the iffy recording the genius that made this band legendary shines right through – they play this show like they were fucking possessed, and between the chunky, thrashy riffs on the Deathcrush material and the melodic tremolo assault of the newer songs, you can hear an entire genre being invented right there on stage. This disc is so utterly awesome it makes such later efforts as Chimera seem even sadder by comparison. Live In Leipzig is a legendary band caught at that one brief moment when they were at the peak of their powers, it is completely and inarguably essential.
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